Madrid Does Not Sleep


Madrid does not sleep and neither did we.  This chirpy/creepy little street entertainer was outside our balcony, below our window in Madrid the second night we were there.  She chirps songs with something like a kazoo in a very high pitched manner and then kicks out at people occasionally.  For some reason I did not find her very funny!  There were lots of Street Entertainers at night in Madrid, on every street corner.  A couple were clever, but most were attired in an interesting manner and did nothing.  I offered the one below our window 5 euros just move to a slightly different location.  She did move about four or more hours later, but was very happy to receive the five euros.

In our first hotel in Madrid, for fresh cool air, you needed the window open, but with the window open there came the constant hum of the people walking below.  It was a Friday night and people walked the streets and smoked cigarettes till about four in the morning.  We walked with the crowd earlier in the evening, but it was like being at Disneyland on a very busy day in the summer without the entertainment.

We lasted two nights and decided to upgrade to another hotel.  It was beautiful, but the window was five feet up, so there was no view.  The amenities were lovely, with thick towels, two TV’s and a light that went on every time you walked by the closet.  It was one of the most modern/slick hotels I have stayed and somehow it managed to be friendly and sort of cozy.  I do love to see out my window, as I am not a cave sleeper, so that was a bit strange.

If you go to Spain, go to the smaller cities as they are clean and beautiful.  The whole time I was in Madrid I could not get rid of the smell of smoke and diesel, as everyone smokes and drives diesel powered cars.   I think I showered for two hours when I got home from this last city.

Cartagena, Pamplona and San Sebastian were amazingly beautiful.  If it were not for getting to view Guernica by Picasso in the art museum, I would put Madrid as a do not bother to visit big city.

Here are some of the other Street Entertainers in Madrid.  I did not photograph Minnie or Mickey, but they were there too and ready to be photographed at your side for $$$.


The guys with the canvas had all sorts of purses and T-hirts that they could pull a string and it became an instant bag and off they ran when the police came near.  Didn’t buy anything….


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Loved the small beautiful cities and would travel to see coastal cities long before going back to Madrid. Be sure to have an appreciation for Tapas (all with bread) and Iberian Ham. I lost five pounds on the trip.  Guess you cannot survive on wine alone.  Next time I am taking my own travel coffee maker, as nowhere did they have one in the room.

Madrid Does Not Sleep

And sometimes we just have to ENJOY!

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Sometimes I am in awe of our beautiful surroundings and what nature freely gives us to enjoy.  This morning is one of those mornings.  This is the view I wake up to in the Fall.  Cold crisp mornings with glorious views.


Icicles are one of natures wonders that we see lots of in the Pacific Northwest and what a joy to view from inside looking out.  Of course with the change in temperature there are often  a few surprises that we get to deal with, like the frost on your car windows and yesterday it was a broken faucet with water shooting across my front porch.  Guess husband did not turn off water and I did not notice (should have looked) and the frozen water shot my hose across the yard freeing the water to gloriously flow at a very rapid rate.  It was funny to walk around the corner, see the fountain and know you had to deal with it.

Thank Heaven for hot water and pliers, as it took both to turn off the water.  Just a little sidetrack on an otherwise sunny and freezing day in Kingston.

And sometimes we just have to ENJOY!

Small things to Make you smile


It is surprising how much can change in a day or two in our lives.  Last week I lost several items that I really enjoy.  Today I am here to say, some were found, some were replaced and all is better in the world.

My favorite necklace was found on the floor under the bed.  When a chain link broke and the bed fell off in bed certain new kittens apparently found this new object of affection tumbling and playing with it under the bed, till it came to the edge where it was exposed.  Wah Lah the necklace was discovered.  Here are the culprits.  How can you ever be upset.  Meet Picasso and Gertrude new additions to the Kingsley household.

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Next my Pod and Purple Leather notebook were found in a drawer seldom used, but hidden away quickly when guests were coming over. Neatness freak strikes again, and perhaps a little early dementia (Oh I hope not??) but they are back and in use with a new book in the car for my driving pleasure.

Mixer center replaced and then a catalog came and they make the same one in Metal, not plastic, so it is on my have to order list.  Good bye plastic, but the idea is fantastic and it WORKS!


Fitbit arrived after a new one was found on Ebay under normal price.  It only took about an hour to update my Fitbit to my new one online.

Now if only the doctor I sold four paintings to three months ago, would actually pay me for the art now hanging in their offices; all would be well in the world.  Any other artist ever have this happen to you?  Sold the art in a show, the buyer made the first payment to the establishment which kept their complete commission and I received $140 out of the $1000 payment.  $1700 still owed, now for three months with no response to email or billing.  Any ideas?

Small things to Make you smile

Cha Ching Cha Ching


Okay, so yesterday I posted that in one week (last week), I lost a diamond out of my wedding band, and  insurance covers the stone, but not the repair; lost a wedding gift from husband, a gold initial necklace ordered from England and $$$$, my iPod, my Fitbit, my favorite Purple Leather notebook and today THIS!   Should I just accept this as part of life or wonder “What have I done to deserve this?”.  Oh yes and a book I sent was stolen out of the package before it was delivered.

Beginning to think I should lock myself in a room and stay there for a week, or a month or whatever…  This kind of thing happen to anyone else?  Or is it a full moon?  Two of my former students had a whole house full of staging furniture, art and accessories stolen this week.  Is it in the stars?

I wonder about life in today’s world sometimes.  Thank you notes are a thing of the past, greeting cards are hardly ever sent and RSVP is “what is that”?  Wonder what life will be like in twenty years?  Will people quit having parties, because with no RSVP’s you have no idea how many people to expect?

I for one am done giving Christmas gifts to adults, as I never even get an acknowledgment that what I sent was received, let alone a thank you note. An email is just not the same, and mostly I have not gotten one those anyway.

Betterif gifts had an automatic response card saying, I received it, I love it or hate it, but thank you for the thought.  With the amount of stuff I have lost in the last two weeks I will be spending my money on replacing my own stuff.  Maybe it is time I finally become self-centered.

What do you think?

Cha Ching Cha Ching

Claire is coming to visit


Sewing is my new passion.  I love finding T-shirts from the Goodwill and Vintage fabric and making a modern dress for my three (almost four) year old granddaughter.

These are both from previously slightly used T-shirts and fabric I found vey inexpensively in an antique shop near Shelton, Washington.  Tomorrow I may make matching hats.

Have you noticed I have an obsession with Airstreams.  The dress on the right has a little Airstream appliquéd to the front.  I was making Airstream potholders and thought this could easily be adapted to a dress front.  And here it is.

I am not sure from where my obsession/fascination with Airstreams comes, but I love this American Icon and even though I don’t own one, the thought of it just makes me smile.  Maybe that is what I need to do next in life.  IMG_8099

They keep showing up in my Pinterest, and on my blog.  These are three more Airstream Potholders made this afternoon.  They just make me smile and lately I have needed a little help with that.

In one week, I lost a diamond out of my wedding band, lost my favorite initial necklace (made in England and $$$$), my iPod, my Fitbit and may favorite Purple Leather notebook. I don’t have dementia, but I certainly have trivial property loss.  Just glad I don’t have “brain loss”.  I have also learned by this point in my life they are just material things, and maybe some of them can be replaced.  But DANG!!

Claire is coming to visit

Jammies for Granddaughters

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Finally having granddaughters, it is such a joy to make fun things for them.  Last week I made four nighties in flannel for my three granddaughters.  I remember when I was young and my mother and I would go shopping in San Francisco after the summer.  I would have worked all summer and saved every penny.  Having about $1000 to spend, our first stop would be the Lanz shop on Maiden Lane.  There I would buy my first winter nightie and one year, the year before going to college I bought the most beautiful black dress and coat with gold buttons.  Wish I could find such a nice one now.

Making these for my granddaughters reminded me of that loving experience and of then hoping and praying I would get another one for Christmas.  To this day I love Lanz nightgowns.  They bring back cozy nights of sitting in front of a real fireplace snuggled up and reading a great book.  My dad making popcorn in the fireplace and all of us enjoying the time together.

No more real fireplace, so maybe the nighties, made in the style of Lanz nighties will bring fond memories to my three beautiful granddaughters in the future.  Think I better find some nice Christmas flannel to make three more for a Christmas surprise.

Jammies for Granddaughters

Airstream Potholders


Since I am always making something for someone else, I decided it was time for some new Potholders for my own lovely kitchen.  Making these reminded me of years ago when I was determined to make the perfect crepe.  I made one; I made two; I made 20, I threw the pan across the room and the 21st attempt produced the first perfect crepe.

My temper has mellowed and throwing away the first three or four potholders did not produce the effect of picking up my sewing machine and wanting to throw it and/or using a variety of swear words to express my feelings.

As you grow older, you know eventually you will make it work or not and move on without extreme emotional responses.

That is where I feel I am in my life right now.  Retirement sounded good at the time, but two years later I miss the challenges and successes of working.  I miss producing income on a solid basis and I miss more interaction with people of all backgrounds.  Having finished my Phd, I miss the challenge of the classes and researching and writing papers and I wonder what next in this life?

There must be more to life than making Potholders for fun??

Airstream Potholders